One of the oldest settled places in the world, Afghanistan is rich in cultural heritage, with humans present in the area as early as 50,000 years ago. Located in Southwest Asia, Afghanistan is a popular topic in American news in relation to U.S. military presence. The people of Afghanistan speak either Pashto or Farsi Dari and often share heritage aspects with neighbors such as Iran and Pakistan. Currently ruled by democratically elected Ashraf Ghani, Afghanistan has a population of 32.5 million. Afghanistan often makes international news in relation to the frequent earthquakes that occur in the area. In business news, Afghanistan is noted as being rich in valuable minerals, ore, and oil, but the political situation makes mining scarce.